HORRID HENRY’S UNDERPANTS
Meet HORRID HENRY the laugh-out-loud worldwide sensation!
15 million copies sold in 27 countries and counting
1 chapter book series in the UK
Francesca Simon is the only American author to ever win the Galaxy British Book Awards
Children’s Book of the Year (past winners include J.K. Rowling, Philip Pullman, and Eoin
“Horrid Henry is a fabulous antihero…a modern comic classic.” —Guardian
“Wonderfully appealing to girls and boys alike, a precious rarity at this age.” —Judith Woods,
“The best children’s comic writer.”
—Amanda Craig, Times
“ I love the Horrid Henry books by Francesca Simon. They have lots of funny bits in. And
Henry always gets into trouble!” —Mia, age 6, BBC Learning Is Fun
“My two boys love this book, and I have actually had tears running down my face and had to
stop reading because of laughing so hard.” —T. Franklin, Parent
“It’s easy to see why Horrid Henry is the bestselling character for five- to eight-yearolds.” —Liverpool Echo
“Francesca Simon’s truly horrific little boy is a monstrously enjoyable creation. Parents love
them because Henry makes their own little darlings seem like angels.” —Guardian Children’s
“I have tried out the Horrid Henry books with groups of children as a parent, as a babysitter, and
as a teacher. Children love to either hear them read aloud or to read them themselves.” —
Danielle Hall, Teacher
“ A flicker of recognition must pass through most teachers and parents when they read Horrid
Henry. There’s a tiny bit of him in all of us.” —Nancy Astee, Child Education
“As a teacher…it’s great to get a series of books my class loves. They go mad for Horrid
Henry.” —A teacher
“Henry is a beguiling hero who has entranced millions of reluctant readers.” —Herald
“An absolutely fantastic series a d surely a winner with all children. Long live Francesca Simo
and her brilliant books! More, more please!”
“Laugh-out-loud reading for both adults and children alike.” —A parent
“ Horrid Henry certainly lives up to his name, and his antics are everything you hope your
own child will avoid—which is precisely why younger children so enjoy these tales.”
—Independent on Sunday
“Henry might be unbelievably naughty, totally wicked, and utterly horrid, but he is frequently
credited with converting the most reluctant readers into enthusiastic ones…superb in its
simplicity.” —Liverpool Echo
“Will make you laugh out loud.”
“Parents reading them aloud may be consoled to discover that Henry can always be relied upon
to behave worse than any of their own offspring.” —Independent
“ What is brilliant about the books is that Henry never does anything that is subversive.
She creates an aura of supreme naughtiness (of which children are in awe) but points out that he
operates within a safe and secure world… eminently readable books.” —Emily Turner, Angels
“Inventive and funny, with appeal for boys and girls alike, and super illustrations by Tony
“Accompanied by fantastic black-and-white drawings, the book is a joy to read. Horrid Henry
has an irresistible appeal to everyone—child and adult alike! He is the child everyone is
familiar with—irritating, annoying, but you still cannot help laughing when he gets into yet
another scrape. Not quite a devil in disguise but you cannot help wondering at times! No wonder
he is so popular!” —Angela Youngman
Horrid Henry by Francesca Simon
Horrid Henry Tricks the Tooth Fairy
Horrid Henry and the Mega-Mean Time Machine
Horrid Henry’s Stinkbomb
Horrid Henry and the Mummy’s Curse
Horrid Henry and the Soccer Fiend
Horrid Henry’s Underpants
Horrid Henry and the Scary Sitter
Horrid Henry’s Christmas
HORRID HENRY’S UNDERPANTS
Illustrated by Tony Ross
Text © Francesca Simon 2003
Internal illustrations © Tony Ross 2003
Cover illustrations © Tony Ross 2008
Cover and internal design © 2009 by Sourcebooks, Inc.
Sourcebooks and the colophon are registered trademarks of Sourcebooks, Inc.
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any electronic or
mechanical means including information storage and retrieval systems—except in the case of brief
quotations embodied in critical articles or reviews—without permission in writing from its
publisher, Sourcebooks, Inc.
The characters and events portrayed in this book are fictitious or are used fictitiously. Any similarity
to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental and not intended by the author.
Published by Sourcebooks Jabberwocky, an imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc.
P.O. Box 4410, Naperville, Illinois 60567-4410
Fax: (630) 961-2168
Originally published in Great Britain in 2003 by Orion Children’s Books.
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Horrid Henry’s underpants / Francesca Simon ; illustrated by Tony Ross.
Originally published: Great Britain : Orion Children’s Books, 2003.
[1. Behavior—Fiction.] I. Ross, Tony, ill. II. Title.
Printed and bound in the United States of America.
VP 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
For Gina Kovarsky
1 Horrid Henry Eats a Vegetable
2 Horrid Henry’s Underpants
3 Horrid Henry’s Sick Day
4 Horrid Henry’s Thank You Letter
HORRID HENRY EATS A VEGETABLE
“Ugggh! Gross! Yuck! Blecccccch!”
Horrid Henry glared at the horrible, disgusting food slithering on his plate. Globby slobby blobs.
Bumpy lumps. Rubbery blubbery globules of glop. Ugghh!
How Dad and Mom and Peter could eat this swill without throwing up was amazing. Henry poked
at the white, knobbly clump. It looked like brains. It felt like brains. Maybe it was…
Horrid Henry pushed away his plate.
“I can’t eat this,” moaned Henry. “I’ll be sick!”
“Henry! Cauliflower cheese is delicious,” said Mom.
“And nutritious,” said Dad.
“I love it,” said Perfect Peter. “Can I have seconds?”
“It’s nice to know someone appreciates my cooking,” said Dad. He frowned at Henry.
“But I hate vegetables,” said Henry. Yuck. Vegetables were so… healthy. And tasted so…
vegetably. “I want pizza!”
“Well, you can’t have it,” said Dad.
“Ralph has pizza and fries every night at his house,” said Henry. “And Graham never has to eat
“I don’t care what Ralph and Graham eat,” said Mom.
“You’ve got to eat more vegetables,” said Dad.
“I eat lots of vegetables,” said Henry.
“Name one,” said Dad.
“Chips,” said Henry.
“Chips aren’t vegetables, are they, Mom?” said Perfect Peter.
“No,” said Mom. “Go on, Henry.”
“Ketchup,” said Henry.
“Ketchup is not a vegetable,” said Dad.
“It’s impossible cooking for you,” said Mom.
“You’re such a picky eater,” said Dad.
“I eat lots of things,” said Henry.
“Like what?” said Dad.
“Fries. Chips. Burgers. Pizza. Chocolate. Candy. Cake. Cookies. Lots of food,” said Horrid Henry.
“That’s not very healthy, Henry,” said Perfect Peter. “You haven’t said any fruit or vegetables.”
“So?” said Henry. “Mind your own business, Toad.”
“Henry called me Toad,” wailed Peter.
“Ribbet. Ribbet,” croaked Horrid Henry.
“Don’t be horrid, Henry,” snapped Dad.
“You can’t go on eating so unhealthily,” said Mom.
“Agreed,” said Dad.
Uh oh, thought Henry. Here it comes. Nag nag nag. If there were prizes for best naggers, Mom and
Dad would win every time.
“I’ll make a deal with you, Henry,” said Mom.
“What?” said Henry suspiciously. Mom and Dad’s “deals” usually involved his doing something
horrible, for a pathetic reward. Well no way was he falling for that again.
“If you eat all your vegetables for five nights in a row, we’ll take you to Gobble and Go.”
Henry’s heart missed a beat. Gobble and Go! Gobble and Go! Only Henry’s favorite restaurant in
the whole wide world. Their motto: “The fries just keep on coming!” shone forth from a purple neon
sign. Music blared from twenty loudspeakers. Each table had its own TV. You could watch the chefs
heat up your food in a giant microwave. Best of all, grown-ups never wanted to hang around for hours
and chat. You ordered, gobbled, and left. Heaven.
And what fantastic food! Jumbo burgers. Huge pizzas. Lakes of ketchup. As many fries as you
could eat. Fifty-two different ice creams. And not a vegetable in sight.
For some reason Mom and Dad hated Gobble and Go. They’d taken him once, and sworn they
would never go again.
And now, unbelievably, Mom was offering.
“Deal!” shouted Henry, in case she changed her mind.
“So we’re agreed,” said Mom. “You eat your vegetables every night for five nights, and then we’ll
“Sure. Whatever,” said Horrid Henry eagerly. He’d agree to anything for a meal at Gobble and Go.
He’d agree to dance naked down the street singing “Hallelujah! I’m a nudie!” for the chance to eat at
Gobble and Go.
Perfect Peter stopped eating his cauliflower. He didn’t look very happy.
“I always eat my vegetables,” said Peter. “What’s my reward?”
“Health,” said Mom.
Day 1. String beans.
“Mom, Henry hasn’t eaten any beans yet,” said Peter.
“I have too,” lied Henry.
“No you haven’t,” said Peter. “I’ve been watching.”
“Shut up, Peter,” said Henry. “Mom!” wailed Peter. “Henry told me to shut up.”
“Don’t tell your brother to shut up,” said Mom.
“It’s rude,” said Dad. “Now eat your veggies.”
Horrid Henry glared at his plate, teeming with slimy string beans. Just like a bunch of green
worms, he thought. Yuck.
He must have been crazy agreeing to eat vegetables for five nights in a row. He’d be poisoned
before day three.
Then they’d be sorry. “How could we have been so cruel?” Mom would shriek. “We’ve killed our
own son,” Dad would moan. “Why oh why did we make him eat his greens?” they would sob.
Too bad he’d be dead so he couldn’t scream, “I told you so!”
“We have a deal, Henry,” said Dad. “I know,” snapped Henry.
He cut off the teeniest, tiniest bit of string bean he could.
“Go on,” said Mom.
Slowly, Horrid Henry lifted his fork and put the poison in his mouth.
Aaaarrrgggghhhhhh! What a horrible taste! Henry spat and spluttered as the sickening sliver of
string bean stuck in his throat.
“Water!” he gasped.
Perfect Peter speared several beans and popped them in his mouth.
“Great string beans, Dad,” said Peter.
“So crispy and crunchy.”
“Have mine if you like them so much,” muttered Henry.
“I want to see you eat every one of those string beans,” said Dad. “Or no Gobble and Go.”
Horrid Henry scowled. No way was he eating another mouthful. The taste was too horrible. But,
oh, Gobble and Go. Those burgers! Those fries! Those TVs!
There had to be another way. Surely he, King Henry the Horrible, could defeat a plate of greens?
Horrid Henry worked out his battle
plan. It was dangerous. It was risky. But what choice did he have?
First, he had to distract the enemy.
“You know, Mom,” said Henry, pretending to chew, “you were right. These beans are very tasty.”
“I told you you’d like them if you tried them,” said Mom.
Henry pretended to swallow, then speared another bean. He pushed it around his plate.
Mom got up to refill the water jug. Dad turned to speak to her. Now was his chance!
Horrid Henry stretched out his foot under the table and lightly tickled Peter’s leg.
“Look out, Peter, there’s a spider on your leg.”
“Where?” squealed Peter, looking frantically under the table.
Henry’s beans hopped onto Peter’s plate.
Peter raised his head.
“I don’t see any spider,” said Peter.
“I knocked it off,” mumbled Henry, pretending to chew vigorously.
Then Peter saw his plate, piled high with string beans.
“Ooh,” said Peter, “lucky me! I thought I’d finished!”
Tee hee, thought Horrid Henry.
Day 2. Broccoli.
A piece of Henry’s broccoli “accidentally” fell on the floor. Henry kicked it under Peter’s chair.
Plop! Another piece of Henry’s broccoli fell. And another. And another.
Plip plop. Plip plop. Plip plop.
Soon the floor under Peter’s chair was littered with broccoli bits.
“Mom!” said Henry. “Peter’s making a mess.”
“Don’t be a tattletale, Henry,” said Dad.
“He’s always telling on me,” said Henry.
Dad checked under Peter’s chair.
“Peter! Eat more carefully. You’re not a baby any more.”
Ha ha ha, thought Horrid Henry.
Day 3. Peas.
Henry flattened a pea under his knife.
Henry flattened another one.
Squish. Squash. Squish. Squash.
Soon every pea was safely squished and hidden under Henry’s knife.
“Great dinner, Dad,” said Horrid Henry. “Especially the peas. I’ll clear,” he added, carrying his
plate to the sink and quickly rinsing his knife.
“Eating vegetables is making you helpful,” said Dad.
“Yes,” said Henry sweetly. “It’s great being helpful.”
Day 4. Cabbage.
“A fly landed on my cabbage!” shrieked Henry. He swatted the air with his hands.
“Where?” said Mom.
“There!” said Henry. He leapt out of his seat. “Now it’s on the fridge!”
“Buzz,” said Henry under his breath.
“I don’t see any fly,” said Dad.
“Up there!” said Henry, pointing to the ceiling.
Mom looked up.
Dad looked up.
Peter looked up.
Henry dumped a handful of cabbage in the garbage. Then he sat back down at the table.
“Rats,” said Henry. “I can’t eat the rest of my cabbage now, can I? Not after a filthy, horrible,
disgusting fly has walked all over it, spreading germs and dirt and poo and—”
“All right, all right,” said Dad. “Leave the rest.”
I am a genius, thought Horrid Henry, smirking. Only one more battle until— Vegetable Victory!
Day 5. Sprouts.
Mom ate her sprouts.
Dad ate his sprouts.
Peter ate his sprouts.
Henry glared at his sprouts. Of all the miserable, rotten vegetables ever invented, sprouts were the
worst. So bitter. So stomach-churning. So…green.
But how to get rid of them? There was Peter’s head, a tempting target. A very tempting target.
Henry’s sproutflicking fingers itched. No, thought Horrid Henry. I can’t blow it when I’m so close.
Should he throw them on the floor? Spit them in his napkin?
Or—Horrid Henry beamed.
There was a little drawer in the table in front of Henry’s chair. A perfect, brussels sprout-sized
Henry eased it open. What could be simpler than stuffing a sprout or two inside while pretending to
Soon the drawer was full. Henry’s plate was empty.
“Look Mom! Look Dad!” screeched Henry. “All gone!” Which was true, he thought gleefully.
“Good job, Henry,” said Dad.
“Good job, Henry,” said Peter.
“We’ll take you to Gobble and Go tomorrow,” said Mom.
“Yippee!” screamed Horrid Henry.
Mom, Dad, Henry, and Peter walked up the street.
Mom, Dad, Henry, and Peter walked down the street.
Where was Gobble and Go, with its flashing neon sign, blaring music, and purple walls? They
must have walked past it.
But how? Horrid Henry looked around wildly. It was impossible to miss Gobble and Go. You
could see that neon sign for miles.
“It was right here,” said Horrid Henry.
But Gobble and Go was gone.
A new restaurant squatted in its place.
“The Virtuous Veggie,” read the sign. “The all new vegetable restaurant!”
Horrid Henry gazed in horror at the menu posted outside.
“Yummy!” said Perfect Peter.
“Look, Henry,” said Mom. “It’s serving all your new favorite vegetables.”
Horrid Henry opened his mouth to protest. Then he closed it. He knew when he was beaten.
HORRID HENRY’S UNDERPANTS
A late birthday present! Whoopee! Just when you thought you’d got all your loot, more treasure
Horrid Henry shook the small thin package. It was light. Very light. Maybe it was—oh, please let it
be—MONEY! Of course it was money. What else could it be? There was so much stuff he needed: a
Mutant Max lunchbox, a Rapper Zapper Blaster, and, of course, the new Terminator Gladiator game
he kept seeing advertized on TV. Mom and Dad were so mean and horrible, they wouldn’t buy it for
him. But he could buy whatever he liked with his own money. So there. Ha ha ha ha ha. Wouldn’t
Ralph be green with envy when he swaggered into school with a Mutant Max lunchbox? And no way
would he even let Peter touch his Rapper Zapper Blaster.
So how much money had he been sent? Maybe enough for him to buy everything! Horrid Henry tore
off the wrapping paper.
AAAAARRRRGGGHHHHH! Great-Aunt Greta had done it again.
Great-Aunt Greta thought he was a girl. Great-Aunt Greta had been told ten billion times that his
name was Henry, not Henrietta, and that he wasn’t four years old. But every year Peter would get
$10, or a football, or a computer game, and he would get a Walkie-Talkie-Teasy-Weasy-BurpySlurpy Doll. Or a Princess Pamper Parlor. Or Baby Poopie Pants. And now this.
Horrid Henry picked up the birthday card. Maybe there was money inside. He opened it.
You must be such a big girl now,so I know you’d love a pair of big girl underpants.I’ll bet
pink is your favorite color.
Horrid Henry stared in horror at the frilly pink lacy underpants, decorated with glittery hearts and
bows. This was the worst present he had ever received. Worse than socks. Worse than handkerchiefs.
Even worse than a book.
Bleccch! Ick! Yuck! Horrid Henry chucked the hideous underpants in the garbage where they
Oh no! Rude Ralph was here to play. If he saw those underpants Henry would never hear the end of
it. His name would be mud forever.
Clump clump clump.
Ralph was stomping up the stairs to his bedroom. Henry snatched the terrible underpants from the
garbage and looked around his room wildly for a hiding place. Under the pillow? What if they had a
pillow fight? Under the bed? What if they played hide and seek? Quickly Henry stuffed them in the
back of his underpants drawer. I’ll get rid of them the moment Ralph leaves, he thought.
“Mercy, Your Majesty, mercy!”
King Henry the Horrible looked down at his sniveling brother. “Off with his head!” he ordered.
“Henry! Henry! Henry!” cheered his grateful subjects.
King Henry the Horrible woke up. His Medusa mother was looming above him.
“You’ve overslept!” shrieked Mom. “School starts in five minutes! Get dressed! Quick! Quick!”
She pulled the blanket off Henry.
“Wha—wha?” mumbled Henry.
Dad raced into the room.
“Hurry!” shouted Dad. “We’re late!” He yanked Henry out of bed.
Henry stumbled around his dark bedroom. Half-asleep, he reached inside his underwear drawer,
grabbed a pair, then picked up some clothes off the floor and flung everything on. Then he, Dad, and
Peter ran all the way to school.
“Margaret! Stop pulling Susan’s hair!”
“Ralph! Sit down!”
“Linda! Sit up!”
“Henry! Pay attention!” barked Miss Battle-Axe. “I am about to explain long division. I will only
explain it once. You take a great big number, like 374, and then divide it—”
Horrid Henry was not paying attention. He was tired. He was crabby. And for some reason his
underpants were itchy.
These underpants feel horrible, he thought. And so tight. What’s wrong with them?
Horrid Henry sneaked a peek.
And then Horrid Henry saw what underpants he had on. Not his Driller Cannibal underpants. Not
his Marvin the Maniac ones either. Not even his old Gross-Out ones, with the holes and the droopy
He, Horrid Henry, was wearing frilly pink lacy girls’ underpants covered in glittery hearts and
bows. He’d completely forgotten he’d stuffed them into his underpants drawer last month so Ralph
wouldn’t see them. And now, oh horror of horrors, he was wearing them.
Maybe it’s a nightmare, thought Horrid Henry hopefully. He pinched his arm. Ouch! Then, just to
be sure, he pinched William.
“Waaaaah!” wailed Weepy William.
“Stop weeping, William!” said Miss Battle-Axe. “Now, what number do I need—”
It was not a nightmare. He was still in school, still wearing pink underpants.
What to do, what to do?
Don’t panic, thought Horrid Henry. He took a deep breath. Don’t panic. After all, no one will
know. His pants weren’t see-through or anything.
Wait. What pants was he wearing? Were there any holes in them? Quickly Horrid Henry twisted
round to check his bottom.
Phew. There were no holes. What luck he hadn’t put on his old jeans with the big rip but a new
He was safe.
“Henry! What’s the answer?” said Miss Battle-Axe.
“Pants,” said Horrid Henry before he could stop himself.
The class burst out laughing.
“Pants!” screeched Rude Ralph.
“Pants!” screeched Dizzy Dave.
“Henry. Stand up,” ordered Miss Battle-Axe.
Henry stood. His heart was pounding.
Aaaarrrghhh! The lacy ruffle of his pink underpants was showing! His new pants were too big.
Mom always bought him clothes that were way too big so he’d grow into them. These were the
falling-down ones he’d tried on yesterday. Henry gripped his pants tight and yanked them up.
“What did you say?” said Miss Battle-Axe slowly.
“Ants,” said Horrid Henry.
“Ants?” said Miss Battle-Axe.
“Yeah,” said Henry quickly. “I was just thinking about how many ants you could divide by—by that
number you said,” he added.
Miss Battle-Axe glared at him.
“I’ve got my eye on you, Henry,” she snapped. “Now sit down and pay attention.”
Henry sat. All he had to do was tuck in his T-shirt. That would keep his pants up. He’d look stupid
but for once Henry didn’t care.
Just so long as no one ever knew about his pink lacy underpants.
And then Henry’s blood turned to ice. What was the latest craze on the playground? Depantsing.
Who’d started it? Horrid Henry. Yesterday he’d chased Dizzy
Dave and pulled down his pants. The day before he’d done the same thing to Rude Ralph. Just this
morning he’d depantsed Tough Toby on the way into class.
They’d all be trying to depants him now.
I have to get another pair of underpants, thought Henry desperately.
Miss Battle-Axe passed around the math worksheets. Quickly Horrid Henry scribbled down: 3, 7,
41, 174, without reading any questions. He didn’t have time for long division.
Where could he find some other underpants? He could pretend to be sick and get sent home from
school. But he’d already tried that twice this week. Wait. Wait. He was brilliant. He was a genius.
What about the Lost and Found? Someone, some time, must have lost some underpants.
Before the playtime bell had finished ringing Horrid Henry was out of his seat and racing down the
hall, holding tight to his pants. He checked carefully to make sure no one was watching, then ducked
into the Lost and Found. He’d hide here until he found some underpants.
The Lost and Found was stuffed with clothes. He rummaged through the mountains of lost shoes,
socks, jackets, pants, shirts, coats, lunchboxes, hats, and gloves. I’m amazed anyone leaves school
wearing anything, thought Horrid
Henry, tossing another sweatshirt over his shoulder.